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Flour Guide for Gluten-Free Vegan Baking

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Gluten-free, vegan and allergen-friendly baking ingredients and flour guide. freshisreal.com

Are you looking for the magic formula to create the perfect flour mix for gluten-free and vegan baking? In this flour guide, I will be sharing my knowledge about baking without top allergens, so please keep reading.

The information in this post will give you tips on creating your ultimate flour blend!

Gluten-free, vegan and allergen-friendly baking ingredients and flour guide. freshisreal.com

This post includes a lot of information, so if you prefer to read it later and get the printable guide right away, no problem! You can get a copy of the Baking Flour Guide by signing up for Fresh is Real’s email list. Once your subscription is confirmed, you’ll receive the download link.

The Flour Guide Post, Will Cover:

Allergen-Friendly Flour Guide

This guide is to help you find ingredients that can work for your family’s dietary needs. It’s important to realize that no two people on a restricted diet can consume the same ingredients. What works for one might not necessarily work for you if you have autoimmune diseases, allergies or other health issues.

When you bake without wheat, eggs and dairy, mixing a combination of flours, starches and nut or seed flours (allergen-friendly version) with some binders will ultimately make the best allergen-friendly baked goods!

Learning to bake more nutritious versions of our good old favourites includes a learning curve. It’s possible, so be excited! Enjoy this post as I help you navigate through a whole bunch of gluten-free, vegan, grain-free and allergen-friendly baking ingredients.

Pinterest Title: NEW Flour Guide for Gluten-Free Vegan Baking by Fresh is Real

Baking with New Ingredients

Did you find this post because you are trying to learn how to bake with—or without—certain ingredients? 

Has your child recently been diagnosed with food allergies or sensitivities? 

Many schools, and some workspaces, are allergy-free nowadays, so it can be overwhelming to bake snacks when you can’t use wheat/gluten, eggs, dairy, nuts or other top allergens.

Maybe you’re here for yourself because you want to bake something edible with ingredients you can have on your new diet. Been there, done that—I got your back!

Gluten-Free Vegan Baking

Let me make things clear; baking with gluten-free ingredients when you can add eggs, butter, dairy products, etc. is not the same as gluten-free and vegan baking.

When you can’t include eggs in a bread, cookie or muffin recipe, you will have to play around with other ingredients to replace the eggs. For a cookie mix, it could be flaxseed meal, for a loaf of bread, psyllium husk is excellent, and for muffins, mashed bananas or apple sauce can help mimic eggs as a binder.

Often, you will find yeast (commercial or wild), baking powder, baking soda and cream of tartar in gluten-free and vegan baked treats to improve the texture. 

Gluten-free, vegan and allergen-friendly baking ingredients and flour guide. freshisreal.com

No Xanthan Gum, No Corn

I don’t include xanthan gum in any of the recipes on Fresh is Real. In loaves of bread or baked goods without gluten, xanthan gum can help the texture, if you want to experiment with it, that will be up to you.

For some people with digestive issues, it is best to avoid gums. If you’re not sure, do your research before trying a new ingredient that might not work with your dietary restrictions or your gut health.

Did you know that some brands of baking powder include cornstarch and are not necessarily gluten-free? If you need to follow a strict gluten-free lifestyle, it will be best for you to make homemade baking powder (see recipe below) or purchase a brand that is certified gluten-free.

Always read the ingredients on your baking powder before using it. Corn is a beautiful grain, but unless you can use fresh organic corn or fine corn flour in your recipes, it might be best to skip it altogether. 

Homemade Baking Powder Recipe

It’s easy to prepare homemade gluten-free, corn-free and aluminum-free baking powder. You will need the following ingredients:

– 1/4 cup cream of tartar
– 2 tablespoons baking soda
– 2 tablespoons arrowroot/tapioca starch*


INSTRUCTIONS: Mix and store in a glass jar. Use as your would regular baking powder.

*If you have starch in your recipe, you don’t necessarily need it in your baking powder mix.

You can purchase cream of tartar online or find it in the spice section of your grocery store.

Freshly milled sunflower seeds. freshisreal.com

Alternatives

Referencing this flour guide and the printable version will come in handy when you are trying to convert a gluten-filled recipe with new ingredients. The guide is also for egg-free and dairy-free baking and is allergen-friendly with some notes on grain-free ingredients.

If you’ve been baking with a handful of gluten-free flours and starches and run out of an ingredient and need an alternative, print out page 1 of the printable flour guide and keep it in your kitchen for quick reference.

The information won’t exactly tell you which ingredient to substitute with another, but it will give you an excellent idea of what else you can consider and try. Again, your choice will depend on the recipe you are baking and your specific dietary restrictions.

Converting a Recipe

Is veganizing a recipe easy? What about transforming it also to be gluten-free?

Great question! Yes, it’s possible. It’s a matter of adding ingredients to replace the ones you can’t consume. A tasty baked good often includes; flour, starches, seed or nuts, fats, some sweetness, dried fruit, binders, salt, herbs and spices.

As an example, let’s take a look at these pancake recipes. The first one includes wheat flour, eggs and dairy. 


This Good Old Fashioned Pancake recipe by Dakota Kelly on allrecipes.com is a very similar recipe to what I made growing up.

Recipe: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/21014/good-old-fashioned-pancakes

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

This Gluten-Free Vegan Oatmeal Pancake recipe by Rhian’s Recipes is created with a combination of ingredients to replace all-purpose wheat flour, eggs and dairy. 

Note that Rhian has many pancake recipes on her blog! They are similar, most include almond meal/flour (not nut-free), and some are oat-free.

Recipe: https://www.rhiansrecipes.com/oatmeal-pancakes

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar * (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
  • 50 g (1/2 cup) rolled oats (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
  • 85 g (2/3 cup) ground almonds (almond meal) **
  • 85 g (2/3 cup) gluten-free flour blend
    (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 230 ml (1 cup) unsweetened almond milk
    (or sub any other plant-based milk)

If you look at this recipe, including a combo of rolled oats, almond meal and a little gluten-free flour blend helps to create a lovely soft texture for the wheat-free pancakes.

Often mashed banana, applesauce or flaxseed meal is added to a gluten-free, vegan pancake recipe to help bind things together. In this recipe, the oats, the sugar, the GF flour blend will most likely be enough to hold the mix together.

Replacing dairy milk with plant milk works in most baked recipes. Some kinds of plant milk contain more fat, like coconut milk. Homemade hemp milk, for example, is allergen-friendly and improves the texture of gluten-free, vegan bread recipes.

When you know you want to fluff up a baked good, the addition of an acidic ingredient like fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar with a small amount of baking soda will help, especially with pancakes. Adding baking powder also works well. Keep in mind that baking powder includes baking soda, so start with smaller amounts at first if unsure. Incorporating too much baking soda in a recipe will affect the overall texture and flavour of a baked good. 

Not all brands of baking powders are safe for people who must avoid gluten. Look for versions that are certified gluten-free or make your own homemade baking powder.

Rhian’s pancake recipe doesn’t include salt, but adding a little can help enhance the ingredients, making things less bland. Adding spices like cinnamon in a pancake recipe can also make it very tasty.

It’s a matter of finding a recipe such as this one from Rhian’s Recipes, trying it as is at least once as is, then play around with the ingredients to make it your own.

Light gluten-free flour for allergen-friendly baking. freshisreal.com

Trying New Ingredients

When your doctor encourages you to switch to a new way of cooking and baking, it can feel overwhelming! Depending on if you have to avoid something due to allergies or need to let your gut heal from digestive problems, the ingredients you can introduce will differ from others.

Finding a straightforward recipe (cookie, pancake, flatbread, snack bar, pizza crust) to start with is what I suggest doing. Recreate it with the ingredients your body can tolerate. Initially, your list of safe ingredients might be limited, but over time, and with practice, you should be able to add more safe ingredients to your pantry and your baked goods.

Ideally, when buying baking ingredients, everyone should consider buying organic when possible. Hopefully, this way, they will contain less undesirable elements like crop sprays (pesticides), sulphites, refined sugar, and other food additives that are best to avoid. If you can find products that are Non-GMO certified, that’s a bonus.

When sourcing ingredients to bake with, look for products that grew in your country. Encouraging farmers close to where you live in the world is also pretty great.

Purchasing rare seeds or nut flours from other parts of the world could make your baked goods taste amazing but might not be sustainable to do long term and not always the best for our planet.

Incorporating dry fruits like raisins in your recipes adds a punch of flavour, but unless organically grown, your dry fruits might include additional sugars, sulphites and sometimes oil. If you can, purchase these specialty ingredients in a cleaner form. Try to find brands that don’t contain anything other than raisins in the ingredients list.

Whole psyllium husk is a very popular ingredients in gluten-free and vegan baking. freshisreal.com
Bowl of whole psyllium husk, great for gluten-free vegan bread recipes without xanthan gum.

The Cost of Fancy Ingredients

You’ll soon come to realize that baking gluten-free and grain-free can have a hefty price tag. Many grain-free flours such as cassava flour, tiger nut flour, and almond meal flour, for example, are not cheap. 

On the upside, you don’t need those ingredients in large quantities to bake beautiful flatbreads, cookies, pizza crust, muffins, crackers, and so much more. Mixing those flours with other starches, seeds or nuts, with dried fruits, spices, herbs or even seed/nut butters can produce excellent and more nutritious baked goods.

People, we were not designed to eat seven cookies, four muffins or a whole pizza at one seating, so yes, bake a few and enjoy a couple or a portion and save the rest for another day.

If you compare your baked goods to processed, boxed treats, yours will be much better. Even if it feels like your spending more on ingredients at the beginning, in the long run, you will be saving. 

Importantly, baking your treats at home is best because you’ll know what goes into each recipe, and it will make you appreciate every bite.

Can Gluten-Free Baking be Economical?

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed that many don’t like to purchase a multitude of gluten-free ingredients to bake a loaf of fresh bread, cookies or muffins. They want something quick, something easy—we all do! But, then, when their recipe flops, it’s incredibly disappointing.

There are many gluten-free flour mixes on the market. Some are very starch heavy, and some include xanthan gum, and a few might even include refined sugar (that might not be vegan). Keep in mind most offer recipes with their blends, but it’s often for baking with dairy, butter and eggs.

What happens when you can’t include eggs or dairy to work with that specific flour blend? Or what if you can’t consume rice flour or legume flour, soon many of those options are off your list too.

That’s when buying a few new gluten-free flours like sorghum, oat, millet, buckwheat with some starches like potato, arrowroot and tapioca can be a great solution.

Creating your flour blends at home can work. Once you try, you should save because your recipes will include ingredients that are safe for you and your family, and you won’t be wasting on mixes that might not work!

On a Budget?

What if you only have enough to purchase a lot of one ingredient? Is it possible to bake with only oat flour, for example? What about just buckwheat flour? Would the use of only corn flour work in a recipe?

The key is to find recipes that consist of mainly just a few ingredients. You could make tortillas with fine corn flour (masa harina). Or try pancakes or flatbreads if you prefer to include only oat flour.

Baking with only a few ingredients is possible, but it won’t be like baking with wheat flour. You might need to add baking powder or yeast to try and concoct something edible.

There are a few popular buckwheat bread recipes on Pinterest, here’s a One-Ingredient Buckwheat Bread recipe by Happy Whole Woman. 

Making your homemade wild yeast (sourdough starter), is a fun way to save on gluten-free, vegan bread making. And once you find a few key ingredients that work for you, include them in a sourdough loaf recipe.

Milling Your Own

Another easy way to cut down on costs is to buy whole seeds, grains and nuts and mill them into a fine flour yourself.

You can use a coffee or spice grinder to transform smaller portions of grains or seeds into fine flour. I have a dedicated one for this purpose. 

Small blenders are fantastic to mill one cup at a time. It’s important not to blend for too long as it can turn your seeds/nuts into butter. 

A larger dry container Vitamix works well, but it’s not my preferred method. I tend to mill only the amount I need for a recipe, which is the reason I like my smaller appliances. It’s quick and does the trick!

Grain mill for whole grain, seeds, legumes.

If you have a grain mill (see below), use it! Milling your whole grains is worth the extra time as it creates the freshest flours. 

TIP: Make sure to sift the flour after milling the grains/seeds/nuts to remove any larger bits. 

Examples of ingredients you can mill yourself:

  • Oats
  • Buckwheat groats
  • Grains (rice, soy, corn)
  • Seeds (hemp, sunflower, pumpkin, sesame)
  • Nuts 
  • Legumes: chickpeas, lentils, beans, peas
  • Spices
  • Dry Fruit
  • Root Vegetables: yuca, potato, sweet potato, beets, parsnip

No Junk Baking

If you’re reading this post, it’s most likely because you or your family have dietary restrictions. With that assumption, consuming nutritious ingredients is highly recommended.

If you have health issues, eliminating refined sugar is a must. Some of the recipes on Fresh is Real only include a small amount of natural sweetness like coconut palm sugar and sometimes maple syrup. If you can’t add any sugar, take it out and use apple sauce or mashed bananas if it works with the recipe you’re making.

Gluten-free, vegan and allergen-friendly baking ingredients and flour guide. freshisreal.com

Flours, Starches and Binders

In the printable flour guide, you will find a list of familiar ingredients and perhaps a few that are new. Please note that depending on where you live in our world, some will be plentiful and accessible, and others would have to be purchased online.

Print out page 1 of the flour guide, and keep it with you in your kitchen to help you with substitutions. 

Sign up for Fresh is Real’s newsletter to receive the complete printable Flour Guide (5 pages) filled with tips and tricks to help you with gluten-free, grain-free, vegan and allergen-friendly baking!

For now, let’s review part of the list that I’ve put together. Get a copy of the flour guide for the complete list. The guide will include which ingredients are gluten-free, grain-free and allergen-friendly.

Light Flours

Did you know that some flours can be both light and fine in texture and include some protein and fibre!

Protein/Fibre Flours

Some protein and fibre flours can also be high in starch. Sweet potato flour is a good example. Did you know that potato flour and potato starch is not the same thing? Potato flour is made by taking whole peeled potatoes and drying and milling them into a fine flour. As for potato starch, they extract all the starchiness from white potatoes and dry it into a flavourless starchy powder.

Starches

Binders

  • Chia Seeds (White or Black)
  • Psyllium Husk (Whole or Powder)
  • Flax Seeds (or Flaxseed Meal)
  • Aquafaba (Chickpea or Bean Brine)
  • Agar-Agar (Sea Vegetable Gelatin)

Remember that in gluten-free and vegan baking, binders are necessary to help stick things together. Adding binders are also how we replace eggs in vegan baking. For quick bread and muffin recipes, mashed bananas or apple sauce are good alternatives to eggs.

Psyllium husk works well in most bread recipes, but too much of it can make your dough become a huge blob.

You can buy psyllium husk two ways, in its whole form or as a powder. If a recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of whole psyllium husk and you only have powder on hand, you will need to use a little less. One tablespoon of powder would probably be enough.

I get my whole psyllium husk at my local health food store but you can also buy it online.

The Baking Flour Guide

In the printable flour guide, you will find a 1-page reference sheet to keep with you in your kitchen. It includes information on how to make a gluten-free flour blend for allergen-friendly baking. You will get recipe examples, lots of tips and tricks, and an interactive shopping list.

Close up of muffin texture.

Previously on Fresh is Real

The last recipe on the blog was a beautiful Healthy Morning Glory Muffins recipe! It’s a great example of how you can combine a multitude of gorgeous gluten-free and allergen-friendly ingredients into the perfect breakfast, snack and treat!

Questions Before You Start?

The best way to ask your recipe questions is in the comments of this post (scroll to the bottom) or in the Facebook group.

The group is a great place to ask your allergen-friendly baking questions, get tips, inspiration and share recipes! Join our amazing and friendly Gluten-Free Vegan Baking by Fresh is Real Facebook Group

RATE & COMMENT 📝
Lastly, don’t forget to rate this recipe and include a comment! Sharing your feedback helps others to find the recipe! Thank you in advance if you do—I really appreciate it!

ALLERGEN NOTICE: Make sure the ingredients you purchase are prepared in a facility free from the top allergens you avoid. Gluten-free products should be certified GF and clearly labelled. Consult your medical professional with your dietary questions. Even certified gluten-free ingredients such as GF oats, corn, seeds, etc., can create health problems for individuals following a GF diet. Always consult a medical professional if unsure about ingredients for your needs.

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Gluten-free, vegan and allergen-friendly baking ingredients and flour guide. freshisreal.com

Flour Guide for Gluten-Free Vegan Baking

  • Author: Chantal | Fresh is Real
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: None
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4 cup blend
  • Category: Flour Guide
  • Method: Mix Ingredients
  • Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Allergen-Friendly, Vegan, Plant-Based
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Mixing a combination of ingredients from the printable flour guide with different characteristics works best. 


Ingredients

Here’s part of the list that I’ve put together. Get a copy of the flour guide for the complete list. The guide will include which ingredients are gluten-free, grain-free and allergen-friendly.

Light Flours

Protein/Fibre Flours

Starches

Binders

  • Chia Seeds (White or Black)
  • Psyllium Husk (Whole or Powder)
  • Flax Seeds (or Flaxseed Meal)
  • Aquafaba (Chickpea or Bean Brine)
  • Agar-Agar (Sea Vegetable Gelatin)

Instructions

Try combining at least 2 cups from the Light Flours (50%), about 1/2 to 3/4 cup from the Protein/Fibre Flours (20%), 1/2 to 1 cup from the Starches (25%) and about 2 to 4 tablespoons from the Binders (5%) for a 3 to 4 cup flour mix. Find more tips on how to create the most perfect blend in the printable flour guide.

The information in the flour guide won’t exactly tell you which ingredient to substitute with another, but it will give you an excellent idea of what else you can consider and try. Again, your choice will depend on the recipe you are baking and your specific dietary restrictions.


Notes

Remember that depending on where you live in the world, some grains, seeds and nuts might differ in colour, texture and flavour. Buckwheat flour is a great example. In many of Fresh is Real’s recipes, using buckwheat flour that is fine, light in colour and texture creates great results in baked goods. Not everyone loves the stronger flavour of a darker buckwheat flour. If you mill grains, seeds and nuts yourself it will produce the freshest flours for your recipes.

Keywords: Gluten-Free Flour Blend, Flour Guide for Gluten-Free, Vegan and Allergen-Friendly Baking

5 Comments

  1. Hi Chantal can you share your cracker recipes please and gluten free pancakes and waffles- can’t seem to find them. Thanks so much!

    View Comment
  2. Hi Chantal
    Your Mailchimp is not doing a good job. I subscribed but did not get a link for the printable flour guide. We really need it for referencing. Chip did not learn abstractly.

    View Comment
    • Hi Dwayne! Did you check your junk folder? You have to confirm your subscription to get the final email with the link. I’ll email you the download link just in case! Thank you for your interest in the guide! Chantal

      View Comment
      • Hi
        Thank you for the link, we really need it. It will be our new best advice recipe for better health. Our 6 year old daughter has an extreme case of Pustular Psoriasis that is set off by various foods.
        You Flour Guide will give us flexibility and many new recipes. Thank you!
        I baked your GF Sourdough loaf. Got it right on the first try! Big thank you for that!
        I tried to bake sourdough many times, failed every time. I did not use your recipe but should have.
        Will be trying more of your choice works soon
        My apologies for being rude in my comment.
        Thanks again,
        Dwayne

        View Comment

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ALLERGEN NOTE

Make sure the ingredients you purchase are prepared in a facility free from the top allergens YOU AVOID. Gluten-free products should be certified GF and clearly labelled. Consult your medical professional with your dietary questions.

Even certified gluten-free ingredients such as GF oats, corn, seeds, etc., can create health problems for individuals following a GF diet. Always consult a medical professional if unsure about ingredients for your needs.